We’ve been dipping our toes into the waters of homesteading for about 8 years now. Our journey really began about 10 years ago after watching some very eye opening tv shows and documentaries about the food industry, specifically the horrific conditions under which most of our food supply is produced.
It all started with a garden- all organic produce that we’ve grown ourselves, harvested and preserved not only tastes amazing, but has success etched into every jar, freezer bag and pantry shelf.
The next big step was our egg layers. We’ve kept chickens for 5 years now, and have never run out of eggs, even in the coldest and darkest parts of winters. Do we always have enough to sell? No, but our hens are happy, healthy little gals that get to run around in a huge yard with their alpaca friends. We never have to put a light on them, they do not have their little beaks cut off to prevent fights, and they live their entire lives content as we let them retire in their old age to be pest control and also just because we enjoy their antics so much.
The next logical step for us in producing our own food, was how to break away from the agricultural standard of mass produced meat. As I have talked about in a previous blog- we are raising our own pigs this year. We have also decided to try our hand at raising our own meat chickens. Why? well let me tell you-
- Factory Farm Conditions are HORRIFIC- unless you have a strong stomach, do not look up what factory farms look like and expect to walk away with a sense of “that’s totally ok” – I have long held the belief that animals are sentient beings that deserve respect, dignity and care. Just because they produce meat for us, doesn’t change that fact for me. It in fact highlights the need to treat them well for the duration of their extremely short lifespans. They give us their entire being, so that we may thrive.
- Ethically, I can not, will not, give my money to corporations that exploit anything for profit when I can do it myself, better. These farms not only treat the animals with little to no care, but they also pollute the environment surrounding them.
- Meat chickens raised on pastures are healthier themselves, producing healthier meat with no need for antibiotics, horomones, or salt water for “plumping”, in turn producing healthier to eat meat.
- While not as cost effective as buying whole chickens on sale at .99 cents per pound, stores around here charge as much as $2.50 (or more for pasture raised chickens) per pound normally. We can raise chickens ourselves for the same amount give or take a few cents, with just a little bit of work. And we honestly enjoy our homestead life and all that comes with it.
- We are having a USDA approved processing facility take care of the butchering and packaging- so we can legally sell some to others and recoup some of our cost. Not sure if we will though as
- My parent’s are paying for half of the total expenses and are also benefiting by getting half the finished chickens, which makes me feel good about what they’re eating as well.
Honestly, I could probably go on and on about how important it is to know where your food is coming from and to produce as much of your own as possible. We are very excited to start this newest venture into our goal to be as self sufficient as possible.
Until next time, have a wicked good day!